Qureshi questions Pak Govt’s 3-week-time plea in court to reply on Davis’ immunity

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has questioned the three-week time given by the Lahore High Court to the Foreign Ministry to file a reply on the immunity status of double-murder accused US diplomat Raymond Davis.

“As the Deputy Attorney General has requested three weeks to submit a reply on the status of Raymond Davis, the case is adjourned until March 14,” Chief Justice LHC Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry was quoted, as saying during the February 17 hearing.

However, Qureshi said that since Foreign Ministry officials had already briefed him about the immunity status of the arrested US national, the government’s plea in the court for an extra time of three weeks was beyond understanding.

“When the Ministry officials have given me a clear-cut briefing on the issue, then what this time limit stands for? It leaves a question mark,” The Nation quoted Qureshi, as saying.

In an interview with a TV channel, the ex-minister said that he was not interested in becoming a stakeholder in the case, “but I do know that there is a petition filed asking the court to make me a party, and if they (the court judges) asked me to appear, I’ll stand by the truth I know.”

Commenting on PPP’s Core Committee meeting in which he was not invited, Qureshi said that he had done nothing against the party policy, rather he had stated the party viewpoint.

He also ruled out the impression that the Foreign Ministry had mishandled the Raymond Davis case, saying: “I briefed my leadership about the case and put forth a fact based viewpoint in this regard.”

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after his meeting with US Senator John Kerry earlier this week, Qureshi had said the Foreign Office had briefed him that Davis did not possess blanket immunity- something that the United States was claiming for him.

“I was briefed that Raymond has no complete immunity. I instructed the Foreign Secretary to follow the law,” he was quoted, as saying. (ANI)

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